Jason Ravnsborg is evidently incorrigible. KSFY’s Austin Goss reports that four days before Ravnsborg formally pled guilty to two traffic misdemeanors to avoid jail time for the inattentive driving that led to the death of Joe Boever, Ravnsborg was ticketed for speeding:
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has obtained his seventh speeding ticket in seven years.
The most recent came in Hughes County Sunday, August 22nd at 8:54 PM.
Ravnsborg was charged with one 2nd degree misdemeanor for “Speeding On Other Roadways” while doing 57 mph in a 35 mph speed zone. Ravnsborg has yet to pay the $177.50 fine associated with the ticket, due by September 20th [Austin Goss, “SD Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg Gets Speeding Ticket, His 7th Since 2014,” KSFY, 2021.08.31].
57 in a 35? 20 minutes after sunset? Four days before your lawyer goes to court to say what an honorable man you are and that you didn’t want to hurt anyone?
57 in a 35 is not casual speeding. It’s not a brief press of the gas to get around a truck. It’s not keeping up with surrounding traffic (traffic? in Pierre? on Sunday night?). It’s not a momentary lapse of attention (though Ravnsborg is clearly prone to that) caused by the excitement of talking to someone on the phone (again, a Ravnsborg proclivity).
57 in a 35 is a willful decision to flout the law and drive like a menace.
Tom Lawrence recognizes both the arrogance demonstrated by the Attorney General’s contempt for the laws he was elected to enforce and the impact this reckless behavior could have had on Judge John Brown’s sentencing decision last week:
We really didn’t need further evidence that Jason Ravnsborg is an arrogant man who doesn’t think the law applies to him.
But we got it.
…What we need to know now is, did prosecutors know he was still breaking traffic laws? Were they aware the man who ran over and killed Joe Boever on the west edge of Highmore was still driving so carelessly, so recklessly, so lawlessly?
If they did, why did they accept the plea deal?
If they did not, why not? Shouldn’t this important and revealing information have been made available in such a high-profile case? [Tom Lawrence, “Ravnsborg’s Speeding Ticket Days Before Court Appearance Reveals Once Again His Arrogance and Lawlessness,” South Dakota Standard, 2021.08.31]
If I were headed to court Thursday with every reporter in the state watching, I wouldn’t dare speed or blow a red light or do anything else illegal with my car that the press and the judge might hear about. I’d probably park my car and walk or bike everywhere. Especially if my crimes led to a man’s death, if I were getting off easy with mere misdemeanor charges, and if I still faced a bruising civil suit from the family of the man I killed, I’d do everything I could to avoid creating even the appearance that I might be ignoring public safety.
Only the most arrogant public figure could think that he could commit such a serious traffic violation (more than 20 over the limit anywhere poses a grave risk to other drivers and pedestrians who aren’t expecting such speed, not to mention the speeder himself, who is overdriving the conditions on that road) while facing a high-profile trial for traffic violations that led to a man’s death. Ravnsborg’s flagrant speeding on the eve of his guilty plea and sentencing demonstrate a pattern of contempt for the law fly in the face of both the arguments made in his favor by his defense attorney at last Thursday’s sentencing and his oath of office. Ravnsborg’s latest crime warrants a review of his sentence by Judge John Brown as well as his swift removal from the office of Attorney General.